HRD 5-Star Employers of Choice 2024: Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards Lifesciences has been recognised as a 5-Star Employer of Choice

Edwards Lifesciences was named as one of the winners of the HRD 5-Star Employers of Choice 2024.

Pat Williams, managing director of Edwards Lifesciences, sat down with HRDTV to discuss how the company acts on employee feedback, the creation of new employee relation groups and the programs it has in place to support talent development.

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Kylie Speer  00:00:07 

Hello and Welcome to HRD TV. I'm Kylie Speer. And joining me today is Pat Williams, Managing Director at Edwards Lifesciences. Edwards Lifesciences has been named as one of the winners of the HRD 5-Star Employers of Choice 2024. Welcome to you, Pat. Congratulations, and thank you for joining us today. 

Pat Williams  00:00:27 

Well, thank you COVID. Such a warm introduction. It's great to be here. And I'm very proud of this. This award, and I'm very happy to be here represented all the people here at Edwards. So looking forward to this, this meeting with you today. 

Kylie Speer  00:00:42 

Well, firstly, Pat, you purchased a SodaStream for the office following a single employee request, does this unusual gesture sum up the ethos of Edwards Lifesciences as an employer? 

Pat Williams  00:00:56 

I'm smiling Kylie because I still remember the day when when Simoni came up and asked, you know, can we get a SodaStream and I'm like Sure, why not? Let's get one. So it does sum up the ethos here because we're also going to SodaStream ago, Massive beer Friday, we've got a huge rice cooker. We've got a big breakfast bar area with breakfast options here for people. We have big end of quarter barbecue, we got a huge barbecue outside on our balcony and got a Weber. We haven't used it yet for briskets. But people come up with ideas here we got a huge vegetable garden here we have herbs, we are eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, all this stuff. We want to plant an orchard out in front with lemons, limes, and Feekes. We do all these things because you people say, this is what we want in the workplace. And it's it's gonna make it cool, then let's have fun and do it. So yeah, it does summon up, we do a, we also do a MyVoice survey every year. The the organization does this and the feedback comes in that there. There's areas we need to work on. So we like to act on the feedback. So it is part of who we are. Yeah. And if people ask the things we can do, we're going to do it. Yeah.  

Kylie Speer  00:02:06 

Edwards Lifesciences is a global leader in patient focused innovations for structural heart disease and Critical Care monitoring. So compassion is a key part of your business. How do you instill the same compassion for your employees and between team members?  

Pat Williams  00:02:22 

Yeah Kylie, I'm glad you said I feel we all feel very proud to work at Edwards course we do. Really focusing on patience and a lot of compassion here. And I would like to say that, you know, it's a throwaway line, but it's so apt for here that we do treat people the way we want to be treated. And I will say that that's pretty much around the whole place. And how we do that is that we've got a very focused l&d program. And we do l&d Here, not so much to tick the box to say, Well, I've done that course I'm good at it. We do it because we want people to really get deep into it, and take that with them at work but also into life. So that's that's where we want to build that the l&d The other part of the compassionate side. And how we want to treat people well is we have regular quarterly meetings, as most companies do. But these are special meetings where it started a year we'll have these meetings, we'll have dress ups, we'll have themes. We will have MIDI meetings as well, wherever thieves will invite patients in. And we want people to see what we actually do day in day out and how it impacts patients lives. And then when we come back, we know that when we're working, we have a real common goal that a patient is the end of that. And it's amazing that when people do get touched by I've actually impacted that person's life and that family life and I've seen it then the I know it's like the compassionate I can push fire through the place here with everybody working together. It's really cool. We we do we do our program Speed of Trust. Steve Covey Speed of Trust. We're getting really good at we're not perfect for that yet, but it's a huge one. Because trust is is as most people know, it's the foundation of everything starts and finishes there. So we're trying to get really good at that as well. 

Kylie Speer  00:04:11 

One initiative you've implemented in 2024 is the creation of new employee relation groups. Could you tell us about them and their scope? 

Pat Williams  00:04:21 

Yeah, these are really exciting news groups. There's, we've got we've got four of them here. I will say we've had one over the last number of years a very strong arms. It's called Edwards network of women, we call it the now. We've got three other new ones this year, but I'll just talk briefly about Edwards network of women. I'm so proud of this group. This year. In particular, we've got a calendar for 12 months. It's such a robust calendar. We've listed diversity on his team as well, which is really cool. We do a lot of mentoring. This guest speakers come in we have lunches we do external training. We also partner with our external stakeholders like a mirror Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association have great mentoring programs for women. So we partner closely with them. So that that DRG in particular is very strong and robust. And I've got a daughter, so I'm very focused in on this one. But it's a really cool one. We've got Rainbow Alliance as well. It's another dynamic group of people a different group again, and I've also got a calendar plan for 2020 24. We've got a group called the Enable group, and this brings awareness to people with disabilities, so autism, et cetera, we had a speaker come in the other day to launch that new erg. We've got a multicultural group as well, to celebrate the 23 different cultures within this region. So lots of work going on the IGs. And we haven't a separate group, which is a social club, which is another group, they will separate all of these people. And it's usually about four or five people in each of the GCEA 20 odd people their social club, we've got about seven or eight people in that group. And the social club aligns all their events and programs with these erg. So these this group of people are very cool group of people here at Edwards, which really makes this this place really special and great. We celebrate Diwali, we get dressed up into wildly gear, we celebrate the Easter Chinese New Year, we have a massive, massive celebration for that. We did Chinese Christmas as well, we did dress ups for Halloween. We did superhero dates called Super boss, David White and White bosses. I don't like rank. So we call a superhero date. Anybody can get it just up because we partner with hot kids. And it's simply there's some really cool stuff going fun things going on here. That's for sure. 

Kylie Speer  00:06:37 

Each quarter your staff have access to you as Managing Director for a q&a. how productive are these sessions and are employees able to speak freely? 

Pat Williams  00:06:48 

Kylie, I love. I love the exact q&a sessions with employees. It's part of Edwards culture. And it comes from the US really, that we have an end of quarter meeting where we report on you know, the how the company is going into quarter, we talk a little bit about strategy. We have introduced new people were telling us something interesting, interesting about themselves. And then we get into q&a. And q&a goes for 20 minutes, 30 minutes. And if it goes longer, it goes longer. And I love any sorts of questions and very comfortable for people to ask any questions at that q&a. And we get all sorts of questions and people aren't afraid to ask. I like to think that people here, don't hold back and go outside and say I wish I'd asked this question. They usually get asked in that room. And it's really cool. And you know, by way of that, we all get to know each other better as well. So it's very powerful. 

Kylie Speer  00:07:43 

Pat, how do you balance providing a flexible working environment with maintaining productivity and innovation? 

Pat Williams  00:07:50 

Oh, that's a really good question. You know, what we this this can be challenging, I will say, but what what we like to say here, Kylie is that we are better when we're together. We the company is innovating at speeds for patients, we really are we are going so fast. And we need to be aligning our functions and our businesses with with the same speed as our innovations coming. And we're why are we doing that? It's for patients. That's what it is. That's our driving forces. So working for home was good. I will say that it was good. It wasn't great for our business. And I say that because when we have water cooler conversations here, we are moving fast after meetings and you lose that that water cooler conversation, that we still want to have the flexibility. So what we have here, we now have the flexibility policy. So the manager and the team members have the flexibility. What I will say also is that family is critical here. We always say families for patients are first and families first. So families come up. And if this flexibility required for family, whatever it is, that comes first. So we have very robust flexibility policy. And I like the way we've adapted post COVID. To this, this new flexibility policy, which we have seems to be working pretty well. It's not perfect, by the way, but we're continually chewing it up wanting to present this all the time. 

Kylie Speer  00:09:21 

The company has a six week leadership program, how important is it to offer employees the chance to develop their careers internally? And how do you cater for those who wish to develop but do not envisage themselves in a leadership role? 

Pat Williams  00:09:37 

Right, Kylie, so we've got, yeah, we've got three or four leadership programs across the region. They're really cool programs too, by the way, and they're across the region. So a lot of diversity across the Japan and Asia PAC region. That as he said, some people may not want to go into leadership roles. So we we we feel it's critical that people have opportunities to develop their careers. You know, and at Edwards, we are only getting started in the structural heartspace. And people are getting ready to go, Wow, you guys have got all these dynamic these innovations. Wow, well, but also we're just getting started. So with that the careers and the opportunities, I will say they're so cool and the opportunities, abundant opportunities here into the future for people. And they're real. They're right here right now. So from today onwards, I'm very excited about people joining us, because their careers, you have opportunities to go anywhere in the company. And if you don't want to be in leadership, that's your choice. We have ailment Do you also to develop, as I said earlier, l&d progress, we have we we really work on these two, hopefully, people can develop getting better at work, but also at life. And that's the other part of it. Yeah. 

Kylie Speer  00:10:53 

And finally, pack over the past five months, your employee attrition rate is 11%, which is below the industry average. Do you feel this validates all the efforts you make as a company to cater for and support your employees? Well, 

Pat Williams  00:11:08 

I think it does validate the good things we're doing for our people. I think it does, I'm not going to say we're perfect. Because this is a this should always be a work in progress. We should always be adapting and evolving to for the inch for what's happening externally and internally with people with changes. So I will say that we're on a great path. And we've got a very good vision for our people. That's for sure.  

Kylie Speer  00:11:34 

Well, congratulations on your well deserved accolade. And thank you so much. Once again for your time today. Pat, it was so lovely speaking with you. 

Pat Williams  00:11:42 

Kylie, it's great to meet you and, and thank you very much for for engaging with us to give me me on behalf of eminence to share all of the things we're doing here, which I'm very proud of. And it's a great bunch of people here and we're very proud of this award. So thank you very much.  

Kylie Speer  00:12:00 

And thank you, of course to our viewers for watching the latest episode of HRD TV. We look forward to see you again soon.